TAKING A SWIPE

1. It’s Wednesday, April 13, 2016.

2. I wonder how much Hillary Clinton’s discomfort using MetroCard in the New York subway led to the announcement that the New York subway system is replacing MetroCard. It’s not a moment too soon.

Also, the Clinton campaign can use this as proof that it gets results.

3. Again, if you get a chance on either one of its numerous re-airings or to buy a version for home viewing, Ken Burns’ “Jackie Robinson” is excellent.

I went on ad nauseum yesterday about the judgment of history relating to the guys who obstructed Robinson. So let me talk about two things that stuck in my mind from Part Two.

First, I’m sympathetic to Robinson’s travails in his later years. Here’s a man whose courage in breaking baseball’s color line should be unimpeachable.

And yet, as the civil rights movement became more militant in the late 1960s, Robinson found himself on the other side. His criticism of Muhammad Ali’s refusal to be inducted during the Vietnam War looks really bad in the light of history – almost an echo of what I said yesterday about the guys who petitioned and hurled epithets when Robinson played for Brooklyn.

But it’s a dim echo, overpowered by his courage speaking his mind about the civil rights movement and his willingness to put his prestige and name behind efforts to improve the economic status of African-Americans.

Second, I’m struck by the toll being Jackie Robinson took on Jackie Robinson. He died a physically diminished man at just 53. I don’t know the extent genetics played on his health problems. But the stress he faced as he shattered one of America’s biggest barriers must have been overwhelming.

4. Good for the Golden State Warriors. There were those who believed they should ease up on the idea of setting a NBA record for wins in a season – the idea is to win the championship, and that’s done in the playoffs.

But they weren’t having that. They won their 72nd game over the weekend against their toughest possible foe, the San Antonio Spurs. Tonight, they go for 73.

In some ways, that’s bigger than the championship. The regular season in most major sports has been diminished; in hockey and basketball, it’s almost a joke. But people pay money to see those games, and they should have some meaning.

That’s the respect the Warriors are paying to their fans and those of their opponents. I’m not a big NBA fan; if I were I’d root for the Brooklyn Nets. But I hope the Warriors do it because of the integrity of their pursuit.

History might or might not remember if the Warriors win the NBA championships. Winning 73 of 82 games will get history’s attention. Big time.

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